We have a men problem, not a women problem

Sandile Mantsoe has been found guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Karabo Mokoena. File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA Pictures

Sandile Mantsoe has been found guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Karabo Mokoena. File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA Pictures

Published May 3, 2018


Johannesburg - I am going to say this until something is actually done to save the next generation of men in our country, continent and the world at large. We have a men problem, not a women problem. 

In doesn't matter how many times we preach this: “leave abusive men, report them to the police. Take self-protection classes” and so on and so forth. Until we actually do something to aid us men in society, this men issue in our society will continue. The ‘solutions’ are driven towards women, as though they are the root problem. Granted! Women need help urgently. 

We are dealing with a generational curse of men that needs us to do more than the 'curing' mechanisms we suggest for women. But no prevention methods on the table. 

The root problem is us men. Let's work around the prevention to these toxicities that are in us men.

I will repeat myself until I sound like a broken record; the problem in our society is boys and men.

I am enraged, but I am doing something. At least I know that the 70-80 young men from the organisation, Young Men Movement (YMM), shall redeem my generation of the trash we are. YMM is a non-profit organisation I established two years ago. I believe that what I am doing with my team will groom and nurture a new generation of men who respect women and completely understand that they share and have equal rights to them. 

Most importantly, my fury shall be reduced if and only if as a country, we start acting and putting our resources together to aid this sick successive-generations  of men who think, act and behave like women are our property. 

What are you doing at your big company, at your villages or urban areas to help us have men who are synonymous with safety, un-controlling and not possessive, especially towards women?

We have dire and deadly issues in our country. But the sad thing about our society and political leadership is this; we like to talk about social issues indirectly and never act on them decisively. 

At this point in our country, I doubt there is a woman who wants to give birth to a baby girl, because of the animalistic and inhuman behaviour we possess as men. Any young mother to a daughter now is scared of herself and excessively worried about her daughter if she isn’t by her side or at least at home, which isn't even the safest space for them in these days we live in today.

Naledi Chirwa puts it this way, “As women, we cannot breathe, we are suffocating everywhere we go. We cannot breathe because of men and patriarchy.”

The violence, the killings and the abuse that women are subjected to daily has reached a point where this is a daily national crisis. We call them names, even when they exercise their very right to say ‘NO’ to our advances. They are vulnerable to slurs and dehumanising labels. All these things are done by us men. 

We are doing a great injustice to women in our country. The death of a girl or lady in our country at the hands (literally) of a man isn’t something we should be just only allowing to play out in the court of law. There surely should be harsher bills turned into laws that should be passed to ensure that our democracy matures faster.  

The cause and the existence of femicide is men. We are a sick species. We are dangerous to our own girlfriends and wives. We need help urgently. We are the most dangerous, alarming,walking, breathing-fatal killers. We can’t be identified because it is not even an issue of poverty or riches. It isn’t an issue of power because we are drunk in it, no matter how small or big it is. We kill women daily, we rape women every four minutes. A man is synonymous with the words; murderer, slaughterer, destroyer, liquidator, exterminator, terminator

We beat them up when we are in relationships with them, we beat them up when they want to leave the very same toxic relationships. We are inhumane and we have normalised this behaviour. It can’t be. 

We take social issues so reluctantly as a country. We almost always make noise on big days  when judgment is delivered for troubled men like #SandileMantsoe.

I dare say trouble, because these things don’t just happen. We have a bad history of parenting, fatherlessness, a great injustice to the socialisation of boys and men who turn out be so self entitled and irresponsible. 

As Frederick Douglass puts it;  “The case is too plain for argument. Nature has given woman the same powers, and subjected her to the same earth, breathes the same air, subsists on the same food, physical, moral, mental and spiritual. She has, therefore, an equal right with man, in all efforts to obtain and maintain a perfect existence.”

It is very difficult to not say this; As men, we are trash.

The truth is, no boy child or man owns a girl or woman. However, it won’t be at the level where we are all grown up that we can discontinue this mindlessness and brutality, we need to fix the foundation of boys and reconstruct their socialisation. 

* Kabelo Chabalala is the founder of the Young Men Movement (YMM). Email,[email protected]; Twitter, @KabeloJay; Facebook, Kabelo Chabalala.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Read more by Kabelo Chabalala:

I am an angry young black man

Promise of a new dawn for young male feminist like me

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